|November 29, 2012
Media Contact: Jenn Meale
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Miami-Dade County Police Department today arrested three Miami-Dade County residents for Medicaid fraud and grand theft. Noriel Batista, the owner of Westchester Pharmacy, Eduardo Marcos-Mone, a pharmacist, and Barbara Iglesias, a Medicaid recipient, allegedly participated in a scheme that resulted in billing the Medicaid program for more than $143,000 for prescribed medications that were never dispensed. Attorney General Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution will prosecute the case, and the defendants could face a cumulative total of 130 years in prison and $770,000 in fines.
“Billing the Medicaid program for prescriptions that were never dispensed is not only unethical, but also it essentially steals taxpayer dollars,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi. “Thanks to our great partnership with the Miami-Dade Police Department, we were able to uphold the integrity of Florida’s Medicaid program.”
According to the investigation, between 2008 and 2011, Westchester Pharmacy recruited Medicaid recipients by offering cash payments for prescriptions in lieu of receiving their prescribed medications. Batista would then bill the Medicaid program for the medications that were never actually dispensed.
Batista and Marcos-Mone are each charged with one count of first-degree Medicaid fraud and one count of first-degree grand theft. If convicted, Batista and Marcos-Mone each face up to 60 years in prison and more than $375,000 in fines. Iglesias is charged with one count of third- degree Medicaid fraud one count of third-degree grand theft. If convicted, she faces up to 10 years in prison and more than $20,000 in fines.